Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another score for another jury

Jurors in Houston today convicted Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of massive corporate fraud at Enron, of having enriched themselves while fleecing investors, including many of their employees.

I was surprised. As the AP story pointed out "the Enron case tested the government's ability to prove complicated corporate skullduggery." That can be difficult. Defenses usually try to get juries to focus on the humanity of the executives, rather than the enormous damage their complex machinations can do. Apparently both Lay and Skilling were irritable witnesses, in fact, arrogant jerks.

"I wanted very, very badly to believe what they were saying, very much so, and there were pieces in the testimony where I felt their character was questioned," juror Wendy Vaughan said after the verdict was announced.

Guess they blew it.

But what fascinated me about the verdict was the picture (above) of the jury. This trial was in Houston. In 2000, Houston was just barely a majority white city -- by now, no single group is a majority. Latinos, the largest non-white group, African Americans and a small Asian population together almost certainly outnumber whites in Houston. Maybe I'm getting a misimpression from the artist's rendering of the jury. But is it really possible that the Enron jury was all white?

1 comment:

janinsanfran said...

This morning the NY Times has posted an interactive graphic from which I can figure out that two jurors had Spanish surnames. Still have to wonder about this though.